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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / March 2013

Thai cuisine is one of the most well established foreign food in Malaysia, this is probably due to Thailand being a neighbour to Peninsular Malaysia and that King Rama V was really great at promoting his country’s cuisine to the world.

The Thai cuisine we have here in Malaysia is usually influenced from Southern Thailand, with places such as Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, and so forth has a sizable Muslim population, what we get here too is often the pork free version of Thai food.

Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI
Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI

There is however, a current welcoming trend of some newer Thai restaurants that serve the whole range of traditional Thai cuisines, including some of the pork dishes that aren’t familiar in Chinese cuisine. Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI is one of these places.

kailan ikan masin, various pork dishes, tomyam
kailan ikan masin, various pork dishes, tomyam

Surisit Thai Kopitiam is located at TTDI’s Lorong Rahim Kajai 13, behind the row of shops that has a Maybank, Tom Dick and Harry’s/Hoofed, and Sid’s Pub.

While parking situation outside those pubs are often hard to come by, I’m happy it isn’t the case outside Surisit. We never had to park further than 20-30 meters away.

Decoration of the restaurant is basic, but they do have air conditioning for your comfort. Tables are covered in thick transparent plastic, with clean basic cutlery and some old school bowls/plates. It is pretty true to the “kopitiam” name.

Horng enjoying some fried fish cake, green curry (pork/chicken)
Horng enjoying some fried fish cake, green curry (pork/chicken)

We’ve been to Surisit quite a few times for dinner. The only “problem” with this place is the lack of flexibility in their portion of food. There’s only one size for everything. Which basically means that for a group of 4-6 person this place is awesome, but going there as a couple might limit your choices of food somewhat.

The tomyam (RM 29.90) comes with either prawn, seafood or chicken and you get to pick between clear soup or the more familiar type with chili paste. Both are equally yummy and absolutely ass cracking spicy. Never miss the tomyam here.

you deserve desserts! tub tim krub (red ruby) and mango sticky rice
you deserve desserts! tub tim krub (red ruby) and mango sticky rice

Deep fried chicken wings with lemongrass (RM 14.90) is a tasty Thai interpretation of the familiar fried chicken wing dish, familiar yet different. Green curry (RM 19.90) comes with your choice of pork/chicken/beef/prawns/duck and they cook it with chunks of melons as well as basil, green chili, and coconut milk. Thick and flavorful, we love it.

Crispy pork knuckle (RM 24.90), pork with shrimp paste (RM 16.90), minced pork with basil (RM 14.90) are among the few pork dishes I’ve tried, and so far they were spot on and did not disappoint. Other dishes in the rather extensive menu includes chicken, seafood, soup, and even vegetarian choices. There are also individual rice and noodle dishes as well.

Kerol, KY, Haze, Johnny, Yuki
Kerol, KY, Haze, Johnny, Yuki

Of course, every Thai meal should end with some sweet desserts. I almost always order the tap tim krub (red ruby, RM 6.90) here while Yuki can’t stop herself from getting the mango sticky rice (RM 9.90). Other dessert choices are honey sea coconut with palm fruit and caramelized tapioca with coconut milk (RM 6.90).

We usually end up spending around RM 30 per person, and while not exactly kopitiam prices, you do get quality tasty food here, which is why it is one of our favorite Thai restaurants right now.

Other Thai restaurants that serve pork includes New Yew SangI’m Spicy and My Elephant in PJ, and Ghee Seng Thai Food in Penang.

map to Surisit Thai Kopitiam at Taman Tun

Address:
Surisit Thai Kopitiam
17 Lorong Rahim Kajai 13,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.15456, 101.62258
Tel03-7710 0173
Hours: 8 am to 10:30 pm daily

First of all, let me get the most important message across.

On the 18th March 2013, head to any one of the over five thousand participating McDonald’s across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa and you’ll get to enjoy the biggest regional breakfast giveaway in conjunction with National Breakfast Day.

In Malaysia, each of the 222 McDonald’s Breakfast Restaurants will offer FREE Egg McMuffin to the first 1,000 customers from 7am to 10am on Monday (18/3/2013). So wake up and grab yours, don’t miss out!

McDonald's on a Sunday morning, Egg McMuffin, coffee, and hash brown
McDonald’s on a Sunday morning, Egg McMuffin, coffee, and hash brown

Last Sunday I was joined by Cheesie, Huai Bin, Nazwan, Cik Epal, and some of our fellow readers for a meal of McDonald’s wholesome breakfast and a kitchen tour at McDonald’s outlet at Sri Damansara.

We started the day with an Egg McMuffin, coffee, and piping hot hash brown. If your Sunday, or in fact any other day does not start out with a wholesome breakfast, then you are missing out the most important meal of the day, I previously wrote about the importance of breakfast in “Lets talk about breakfast” post.

some of my readers brought their kids for the kitchen tour, too cute
some of my readers brought their kids for the kitchen tour, too cute

It was pretty awesome to be meeting some of my reader’s kids at the event. Kristen’s husband brought his cute daughter, and Mycelt came with two kids too. Thank you for coming!

The 50 odd strong crowd were then separated into a few batches for the McDonald’s kitchen tour.

one of the most efficient and cleanest kitchen anywhere
one of the most efficient and cleanest kitchen anywhere

Little known fact – my first ever real job was being an employee at McDonald’s right after my PMR examination, it was a valuable experience and I learned a lot from the job.

So to me, the kitchen tour is a little bit like a homecoming event after some 20 years absent from being in one. I was impressed to see that they have managed to make the place even cleaner and more efficient than it already was from years ago.

Employees who handle food must thoroughly wash their hands and wear gloves while cooking. Food are made to order, with only the patties and eggs being prepared minutes prior and kept in what they called universal holding cabinet. So the Cheeseburger or Egg McMuffins you order is as fresh as it gets.

reliving the days when I was a McDonald's employee almost 20 years ago
reliving the days when I was a McDonald’s employee almost 20 years ago

On Sunday, I also had a chance to put my long forgotten skills into use once again. While it took me probably around a minute to get it done, seasoned employees get it done in seconds. Their efficiency is impressive, and the whole kitchen is kept spotlessly clean, I need to adopt the same mentality at my own kitchen.

and here's a group photo, smile!
and here’s a group photo, smile!

We had a great time with breakfast and kitchen tour at McDonald’s, and I certainly hope the kids enjoyed themselves (especially going into the giant freezer). Thank you to those who came and I hope you had a great time.

So don’t forget to head to a McDonald’s this 18th March, 2013 and get your free Egg McMuffins to kickstart your workweek! Click on National Breakfast Day to learn more.

This is the Sepang International Circuit. Since 1999 it has been hosting the second leg of Formula 1 racing event, and always it is one of the more exciting venue on the calendar.

If you haven’t noticed yet, the Malaysian weather at this time around the year is a bit erratic. Thunderstorm and heavy shower can seemingly come out of nowhere especially during late afternoon, all of which makes for very exciting strategy and condition in racing. Skills, thrills, and plenty of drama.

Sepang F1 Circuit

The question is, wouldn’t you want to be there?

My pretty big and constantly growing bucket list includes attending an F1 and MotoGP event. I managed to cross MotoGP off the list last year (what an exciting race!), and this year I want to make it to F1!

So what if I told you, you can win a pair of Grand Stand tickets to this year’s Formula 1 Petronas Grand Prix? #morpheus

The answer lies on the Gillette Creative Foam Race-Off contest that is happening now at Lazada Malaysia.

Simply follow these instructions to give yourself a chance to win:

  • Purchase any Gillette products on Lazada.com.my from 13-19th March
  • All purchases for Gillette items will enjoy FREE shipping nationwide
  • Using Gillette’s shaving foam, design / craft a form or picture on any surface. Be creative!
  • Send your entry to contest@lazada.com.my with your purchase order number
  • Closing date for contest is 12 noon, 19th March 2013

(terms and conditions)

For more information, check out Lazada Malaysia’s facebook page.

The awesome photo above is my entry to the competition, I did it before realizing that you can actually use the shaving cream to craft something on any surface, but since I looked pretty sweet there I decide to use it instead. What do you think? hehehe

In any case, I want to be part of the Formula 1 event, I can’t wait.

Submit your contest entry ASAP and best of luck to you!

And for the record, while it’s easy to support Red Bull Racing and I do like Sebastian Vettel, I’m there to root for Kimi Raikkonen and the Team Lotus. After all Lotus Elise is also in my bucket list. Mercedes AMG Petronas is also gets my support, because Petronas!

Go Lotus! Go Petronas! Go Malaysia!

One of my buddies always say “learn something everyday”. So, like the title suggests, let us look at the difference between animal protein vs plant protein, as well as what is this soy isoflavones thingy today.

Yep, today’s post is educational.

fish stall at wet market

Before we get to animal vs plant protein, lets look at the two different classification of protein:

  • Complete Protein – a complete source of protein is a food that contains all the essential amino acids. In general, animal proteins are considered good sources of complete protein
  • Incomplete Protein – these are protein sources that contain some, but not all of the essential amino acids. In general, vegetables, legumes, and grains are incomplete proteins.

Now the animal versus plant protein:

  • Animal Protein – generally associated with high fat content. There is increasing evidence that a diet mainly based on animal proteins is associated with various diseases. High intake of animal proteins increases total blood cholesterol, LDL, and the chances of obesity, risk of atherosclerosis as well as coronary heart diseases.
  • Plant Protein: vegetable protein sources are also good sources of dietary fibre, and generally low in fat content and saturated fats. Studies show that vegetable proteins are associated with low blood cholesterol and lower associated diseases.

Excess Protein

So, what happens to excess protein that we consume?

The short answer is that it’s taken care by our kidneys. The excess protein is converted to urea and glucose, urea is then excreted through urine, while glucose that is not used by body may be converted to body fat.

Excess protein is usually okay for most, but those with liver or kidney problems might want to consult physicians before using protein supplements.

On the flip side, having not enough protein (protein deficiency, or kwashiokor) can lead to retarded growth, loss of hair and skin color, poor digestibility, diminishing blood protein, liver damage and so on, especially in children.

soy protein

Best of both worlds

If you recall advantage and disadvantages of complete vs incomplete protein and animal vs vegetable protein above, it begs the question if we can have the best of both worlds. The answer is yes – soy protein.

Soy protein is a complete vegetarain protein with all the essential amino acids for adults and children. Soybean oil is largely unsaturated and high in essential fatty acids.

It is also an excellent alternative for those who are allergic to milk (like me….), nutritious and rich is not only protein but also B vitamins and isoflavones. The only plant-based protein with protein quality equal to that of meat, milk, and egg.

 

Soy Isoflavones

One unique compound found in soybeans is isoflavones which are phytoestrogens – plant substances similar to female hormone, oestrogen. There are three types of isoflavones and soy protein isolate is a good source of isoflavones. One cup of soymilk has about 20 miligrams.

Research indicates that isoflavones are responsible for soy’s health benefits, and among the bioactive compounds that work with soy protein to lower blood cholesterol.

Here’s the daily amount of soy and isoflavones studied or being studied to prevent a range of diseases:

  • Lowering cholesterol – 25-50g of soy protein
  • Cancer (breast, prostate, colon) prevention – 20-40 g of soy protein
  • Hot flush reduction – 45 g of soy flour/day, 80-160 mg of isoflavones
  • Osteoporosis, post-menopausal women – 40g of soy protien containing 90mg total isoflavones per day for 6 months

(source: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

So there you go, learn something new everyday. I also previously wrote an entry on how to enjoy Nutrilite protein powder, which is a good supplemental source of soy protein.

While coffee culture is slowly gaining grounds in Malaysia, tea seems to be a bit lagging behind. Many of us usually only drink tea (proper tea in which you don’t need to add sugar) while having bak kut teh and dimsum, I’m certainly guilty of this behavior.

A couple weeks ago we were invited to a Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien to learn a little more about the art of tea drinking.

Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien KL
Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien KL

As a tea company, Dilmah is relatively young, the Sri Lakan Ceylon tea company was founded in 1974 and has seen pretty rapid expansion lately to the local market, especially in premium outlets such as high end hotels and restaurants. One of which is Le Meridien KL, our host for the day.

I'd love to have me a fancy tea pot too
I’d love to have me a fancy tea pot too

The tea experts from Dilmah showed us how to brew a proper cup of tea. Never reboil the water, and only soaking the tea bags 2-3 minutes before tossing it off and start enjoying your tea. The habit of squeezing the tea bag with a spoon is also something you shouldn’t do. This is to ensure there isn’t any unwanted bitter taste to the beverage.

While temperature of 95-98 Celsius is good for most tea, green tea works best with water around 70 Celsius to allow the release of its delicate flavors. Needless to say, adding extra hot water to a tea bag that’s already used once is not something recommended here.

tea mixologist showing us how it's done
tea mixologist showing us how it’s done

For those who likes to be more funky with tea, the tea mixologist from Dilmah also showed us a few recipes in which tea is mixed with syrups to create stronger tasting (usually) cold beverages with tea flavor. To honest this would not ever be my way of enjoying premium tea, when I want syrup laden peach tea or something, I’ll have me a can of chilled St. Martin’s.

Using premium tea such as Dilmah for this purpose is a bit of a waste, it’s like wearing a tuxedo to fengtau disco outlets. I’m not saying the resulting drinks don’t taste good, I just think it is not appropriate.

tea paring with some sweet desserts, perfect combination
tea paring with some sweet desserts, perfect combination

We then moved on to have a few types of Dilmah tea paired with sweet delicious pastries and chocolates from Le Meridien. If you’re looking for a hi-tea session with fantastic cakes, macaroons, and a good cup of tea, this is a perfect place to be.

Different tea goes well with different foods though, the smoky Lapsang Souchong would go well with savory food such as bak kut teh, while lighter tea such as Earl Grey is fantastic with pastries. Just like wine/food pairing, this is an art in itself.

Haze enjoying a cup of premium tea
Haze enjoying a cup of premium tea

We tried a few types of tea over the session and I find myself really liking these tea. We have a couple tins of Dilmah tea at home from the event and I think we’d have to get some when they run out (probably in a few weeks time).

Address:
Le Meridien KL
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631, 101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7753